a new military department, which includes the State of Massachusetts, and my perplexity on this subject is increased by the official service upon me at the same moment of the annexed communication and order from General Butler. I inclose to you the originals. what am I to understand by this requirement that all officers in command of troops mustered into U. S. service without limitation as to time or place shall report themselves to him?
On the 23rd ultimo I issued an order respecting the volunteer regiments which are being raised in Massachusetts under my direction. I inclose to you a copy of this order and invite your attention to it, and also to the general order of the War Department of the United States of the 16th ultimo, an extract from which is therein quoted. you will perceive thereby that in Massachusetts I am engaged in recruiting at this time eight regiments of infantry, from the Twenty-second to the Twenty- ninth, inclusive, one regiment of cavalry, and three batteries of artillery, one battery having been completed and dispatched to Washington on Friday last. The Twenty-second Infantry (Colonel Wilson's) is unders orders to leave for Washington to-morrow. Am I to understand that its departure must be delayed in order that its colonel shall report to General Butler? The Twenty-third, Twenty-fifth, and Twenty-seventh Regiments are in an advanced state of preparation, and acting under authority from yourself I have selected them to form the contingent desired from Massachusetts for General Sherman. Am I to understand now that their colonels are to report to General Butler and be liable to be diverted at his discretion from the designation I have made concerning them? The Twenty-fourth Regiment (Colonel Stevenson) I have, under your authority, intended for General Burnside. Am I to understand that this intention is subject to General Butler's permission?
When General Butler first came here with his plan for raising six regiments in New England, I at once assigned to him, subject to your approval, two (the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-eighth) of the eight regiments I then had started; nor is there any difficulty in his having a third if need be. I regret his appearance now in the capacity of a recruiting officer, introducing, as it does, and element of confusion, perplexity, and conflict into the system of raising and quipping troops, which has thus far been steadily and earnestly pursued here.
Why is power given to him thus to interfere with me and distract and confuse the system under which my operations are conducted? I have not received from the President nor from yourself any notice that my efforts to serve the country in my official capacity have not been efficient and satisfactory. On the contrary, the President and yourself have at various times given assurances- very gratifying in their terms-of a contrary description. If anything has occurred to produce a revolution of opinion on this subject in your mind, I trust it may be disclosed; but in view of your recent expressions of satisfaction with what has been and is being accomplished in Massachusetts, the present attitude of General Butler puzzles me exceedingly.
I dread the introduction into Massachusetts of the same elements of confusion from which the Executive of New York and Pennsylvania have just extricated themselves, and I desire to arrive at a thorough understanding at once, with a view to harmonize matters before they become so entangled as to annihilate the military efficiency of this Commonwealth. This is my apology for writing to you thus earnestly and frankly.
To one circumstances I beg to call your especial attention. General Butler, it seems, comes clothed with some clothed with some authority to pay half a